Archive for December, 2008
OH-EIGHT was filled with many surprises, accomplishments, and special stories! Below is a small list of a few of them:
Saci saw the ocean for the first time
I celebrated 24 years of life and happiness
Alex and I got married in Italy and spent three amazing weeks in our favorite place
Alex blew out 28 candles
We saw a few beautiful sunsets in Arizona
Obama was elected
We built and bought a house
Saci wagged her tail at 3 years
…here’s to 2009, may it be filled with its own milestones and special stories!
In need of a great read going into the New Year? I recommend that all readers out there pick up “Who By Fire” by Diana Spechler. I finished this novel a few days ago and immediately started reading the “Insights, Interviews, & More…” in the back of the book. I usually leave those sections for a few days later…I was really sad the story was over!
“Who By Fire” tells a story of a Jewish family from New Jersey that deals with unimaginable heartbreak, loss, and forgiveness. Each member of the family dealing with these separate emotions in their own way, Spechler takes us on a journey of a mother’s desperation, a sister’s plea, and a brother’s repentance.
Upon finishing the book, I contacted Diana to tell her how much I enjoyed her first book and to ask her a few questions!
An Interview with Diana Spechler:
While growing up what did you want to be? Did you have plans of becoming an astronaut or were you always set on writing?
I did NOT want to be an astronaut. Especially after what happened to the Challenger. I always loved to write better than I loved to do anything else. I declared my college major as creative writing when I was still a senior in high school.
Did you name any of your characters after friends/family members?
No. I’m a big fan of names that aren’t really names. I love the name Bits, but I’ve never known a Bits.
Are any of your characters’ personalities based on the personalities of your friends/family members?
My characters are often composites. I will take pieces of lots of people’s personalities and appearances and combine them into a single character. Often, I begin by basing a character on someone I know, but by the time I’ve finished writing the story, the character (at least in my opinion) is unrecognizable. He’s just him; my initial inspiration is forgotten.
What’s your favorite go-to movie…the one you’ve seen at least 20 times?
As an adult, I don’t really re-watch movies. Years ago, when Wayne’s World came out, I must have gone to see it in the theater nine weekends in a row, but (oh my god, wait, did I really just admit that?) now I have so little time to see movies, I don’t like to waste a movie night on a repeat. Okay, wait…except Waiting for Guffman. I can always make time for Waiting for Guffman.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
I want to go everywhere. I guess Thailand is on the top of my list right now because everyone says it’s so cheap, and…well, I’m an artist. And we’re in a recession. So.
What’s your best weapon to battle writer’s block?
I keep great fiction near my computer. When I’m blocked, I read it. Currently, that book is a collection of short stories by Rebecca Curtis called Twenty Grand. It’s a masterpiece. I can open it up to any page and feel inspired to write.
What’s one of your long-term goals?
I want to write lots of books and support myself on my writing.
Thanks so much Diana and “happy writing” while you work on your second novel, which is based on Diana’s experiences of working at a weight loss camp!
Last year I didn’t have this problem. The one where you eat way too many sweets at Christmas time…because they’re just around the house. That’s because I was smart last year.
This year, I decided that since Alex and I are now living in our very own home together that we’d establish some traditions. Nobody ever warned me, but if not monitored more closely next year, these candy traditions will turn into…”Let’s get Fat and Unhealthy Together” traditions!
It’s a little out of control now! I made way too many Buckeyes (peanut butter smothered with chocolate goodness), Cherry Bars (amazing cherry, coconutty amazingness), and then of course the assorted treats we’ve received from others! Thank goodness (seriously) that my toffee making went awry, instead of delicious, crunchy sweetness I have a mixture that looks and feels like butter…butter with lots of sugar and some chocolate in it. Yup, I screwed ’em up big time! Something about not letting the bubbling, molten butter mixture get hot enough on the stove before pouring onto a cookie sheet to cool! oopsie……aka phew!
Making the treats was fun…instead of our house smelling like a new house that has just been painted (twice), our house smelt of chocolate, cinnamon, and butter. mmmmm butter. And whilst stirring, balling, and pouring I listened to Charlie Brown’s Christmas soundtrack. The one with the humming children that conjures up images of ice skating outside and small, pathetic Christmas trees!
Next year, I’ll still make Christmas treats…but we’re only keep a sixteenth of what I make. I hear others like receiving Christmas candy…not just my tummmmayy!
I just joined Etsy.com…until recently I started discovering how awesome of a site it is. Artists, potters, jewelry makers and creative people alike are able to share the products they make with love for profit!
I was just blogging around and came across the portfolio site of Yulia Brodskaya. Her work is fabulous and I was totally mesmerized by her colors, composition, and innovative craft! Her PaperGraphic work is what speaks to me the most. It’s something I’ve never seen before and comes across to me as being so whimsical and poetic!
I love coming across stuff like this, it pushes me to be better…and to start making stuff of my own more often. Whether it be typographic posters, paintings, drawings, etc.
Anyway, I know I have some creative readers out there that would enjoy her work as much as I do!
Well we closed on our house on November 19th and just a little under a whole month later Alex, Saci, and I are finally settling into our new abode. I made the last move of boxes from the apartment (that we have until Dec. 31st) this past Sunday. Since then we’ve been unloading boxes little by little…and I’m happy to say that we only have one more left really!
We’re all enjoying the extra space, allowance to decorate to our designer heart’s content, programmable thermostat, garage for our cars, and big backyard to let Saci run around in! Surprisingly, we don’t feel the need to go out by and lots of new furniture…with our existing furnishings and the boat load of stuff my grandma and uncle gave us as a house warming we’re pretty set. Except for area rugs…we’re in need of two large ones. Since we installed the laminate floors I can’t seem to bear the pitter patter of Saci’s little feet everytime she ventures off to explore! Plus, she hates lying on cold, hard floors and has since been on the furniture a whole lot more than usual to lounge about. And of course, I don’t have the heart to tell her to “get the hell off.” She’s still adjusting from the move and all :-)
It’s nice also being in the house for the first time right smack dab in the middle of the Holiday Season! It’s like an early Christmas present for us and we even have our modest Christmas decorations up. No lights this year…we’ll save those for next year, and any neighbor that rolls their eyes at our lack of twinklers can go suck it! I mean that in the most neighborly of ways…we’ll supply the candy canes!
This weekend I’ve dubbed as “Christmas Candy Making Weekend!” I just feel a need to establish some holiday traditions. We’ll be making Buckeyes (an Ohio tradition) for Alex, Traditional English Toffee (for me), and Nannie’s Cherry bars (my favorite holiday treat of hers). My parents always go crazy with the chocolate chip and oatmeal/raisin cookies, so we’ll be all set in that department!
And beings that it’s our first Christmas in our new house and it’s still fresh and exciting news, Alex, Saci, and I will be hosting Christmas Dinner. I haven’t decided what the main course will be yet, but so far Roast Chicken is ranking high on the “Possibilities List.” Side dishes, desserts, and beverages are still all up in the air. Any suggestions readers?
Have a Festive Weekend!